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Clinton should cancel missile defence plan

July 9, 2000


Clinton should cancel missile defence plan

The Green Party wants pressure put on President Bill Clinton to shut down the United States' National Missile Defence programme.

"Yesterday's missile test failure over the Pacific has put the whole missile system in jeopardy," said Green MP Keith Locke, the party's disarmament spokesperson.

"It's a golden opportunity for New Zealand to say the programme should end, because it threatens the whole process of nuclear disarmament," he said.

"The National Missile Defence system contravenes the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, and China and Russia are very upset about it."

Mr Locke said New Zealand should work with other Pacific nations to tell President Clinton to "pull the plug now".

"It is a Pacific matter, because the US is using its Kwajalein firing range, in the Marshall Islands, to test the missiles. We want the Pacific to be a zone of peace, not a contributor to a new military arms race.

"The NMD is also a huge waste of money. Yesterday's test cost over $NZ200 million, and the whole system is estimated at over $NZ60 billion.

"If this money was applied to Third World development it could make a considerable contribution to real security in the world," said Mr Locke.

Keith Locke MP: 025-528-353, 09-630-0789. Paul Bensemann, press secretary 04 4706679




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